Weekly Photo Challenge: Convergence II

When functionsĀ Converge: When your rain gauge also becomes your thermometer.

(Typical Arkansas fall weather – 15 degrees F two weeks ago, mid-70s today.)

Rain gauge filled with ice.

BRRRRRRRrrrrrr!

More convergences we liked:

Winter vs. Spring. Round 3

And the winner is … Spring!

Arkansas did have one more round of snow on St. Patrick’s Day, with enough ice and snow to cause a 10- to 15-car pileup that shut down I-630 during the morning commute. However, Spring has gotten down to business and has taken the state in its firm grip.

Violets
Violets grow on a rocky Ouachita mountain slope.
White tree blossoms.
Beautiful blossoms, but the tree is a mystery.
Robin in nest.
Mama robin minds her nest in a tulip tree at the office.

 

Groundhogs, badgers, Christopher Lee and Candlemas

It’s funny how cultural connections are made and often begun in the most unlikely ways. For example, last night, we picked a televisual feast from Roku and as is usual for us, it was a “cult” horror movie called “City of the Dead,” starring Christopher Lee as the lead undead guy. The movie was set in a rural Massachusetts town with a perma-fog and equally permanent darkness, populated by a band of survivors of 17th century witch hunts.

In the movie, Feb. 2, which is also Candlemas, is an important day of sacrifice for these witches being the day halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. (Not to mention that it was their way to irritate the local time-wearied clergyman).

In Christianity, Candlemas commemorates the ritual purification of Mary 40 days after the birth of Jesus. Pre-Christian Celts celebrated the day as Imbolc, a day linked to the gestation of ewes and lambing.

Hmmm. We wondered. Was there a link between Candlemas and Groundhog Day? Well, gosh, there is. From Projectbritain.com is this rhyme:
“If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter won’t come again.”

The site also notes this German Candlemas tradition, which has been adapted in the U.S. with a groundhog subbing for the badger:
“The badger peeps out of his hole on Candlemas Day,
and, if he finds snow, walks abroad;
but if he sees the sun shining he draws back into his hole.”

Which brings us to a more local tradition — Blossom, Perry County’s prognosticatin’ groundhog. Caretaker Tamara tells us this afternoon that “Blossom did not see her shadow today. She didn’t even peek outside!” (Search our blog for “Blossom,” and you’ll see more about our little local garden-thievin’ celebrity).

The local weather was cloud and rain, and if the Candlemas rhyme is followed, agrees with Perry County Blossom that spring is en route.

We’re putting our money on our local folkways predictions no matter what that Pennsylvania whistlepig says.

http://www.stormfax.com/ghogday.htm

Great balls of … water?

(Apologies to Jerry Lee Lewis, of course.) Winter likes to make water do interesting things: create stalactites, delicate snowflakes and spheres of ice. Here, a couple of samples of what water can do.

(Catching that little drop of water falling from an icicle took many, many frames.)

sleet balls
CRYSTAL BALLS — Tiny spheres of sleet that accompanied a winter storm.
Sphere of water falls from a bank of icicles.
THE BIG DRIP — Sphere of water falls from a bank of icicles.

Posts from winters past:

 

Zzzzzap! Pow!

Cold air from the north and west met up with our 80-degree spring day, producing powerful storms. Here’s what we saw this evening.